Currently, 10% of the world is starving due to conditions of food insecurity. This figure mostly includes families with children who suffer the most due to food scarcity. Food insecurity is basically the inability to afford a sufficient and nutritionally balanced diet in order to meet the dietary demands for leading a healthy and active life.
Sadly, food insecurity and education are interlinked. Hence, the negative impacts of food insecurity on education are quite evident. Most children coming from low-income and food-scarce households suffer a great deal in terms of academic progress.
Food Insecurity and Education
There is an ample amount of evidence proving that food insecurity leaves some serious and ever-lasting impact on education. Most school-going children are already burdened with their homework and other factors associated with academic stress. In the meanwhile, the additional stress of food insecurity leads to the loss of education.
Apart from this, a child who lacks access to a proper nutritionally balanced diet on a regular basis is bound to suffer academically. Food insecurity leads to some serious developmental delays in children hence, children suffering from insecurity are more likely to experience obstacles in their academic progress.
Furthermore, food insecurity in general impacts education as a whole. A few factors that are typically considered while determining a student’s academic success are the student’s ability, teaching quality, parental involvement, and student cognitive and mental skills. All these factors are highly dependent on food security. This is why a child belonging to a food-scarce household is often held back and is unable to work up to his true potential for leading a successful and independent life.
Here are a few more examples in which you can easily decipher the link between food insecurity and education along with understanding how important it is to provide a child with sufficient calories and required nutrients in order to make him excel in life.
- Children facing food insecurity have significantly reduced their chances of graduating high school.
- Children belonging to households that suffer from prolonged and continuous food insecurity show less competency in reading and maths.
- Food-insecure children are teens are more likely to miss school and they have high chances of repeating a grade as compared to their food-secure counterparts.
How does Food Security Improve Learning?
The aforementioned facts and figures are more than enough to let you know how food insecurity and education are interlinked with each other. Just like food insecurity negatively impacts education, on the other hand, food security brings about positive changes in education. A child facing food insecurity suffers a great deal in his academic progress while a child getting an adequate and regular nutritionally balanced diet is more likely to reap benefits in terms of academic progress.
Regular and easy access to proper nutrition means improved learning and concentration in school, which directly leads to better grades and academic progress. This evidence that food-secure children are bound to achieve more success is enough to reveal the role of food security in improving education.
In order to reap maximized educational benefits, it is essential to ensure food security for children before they are sent to school.
How Child Hunger is an Educational Issue?
Child hunger directly contributes to multiple educational issues. The clear-cut difference between the academic progress of food-secure and food-insecure children is enough to justify the fact that child hunger is in fact an educational issue.
- Food insecure children belonging from the range of 0-3 years have shown less competency in learning due to chronic undernutrition that harms the development of their cognitive skills.
- Food scarcity in childhood projects long-lasting impacts on a child as the critical period of rapid brain growth is hindered due to a lack of nutrients.
- Hungry children have shown less concentration and poor progress in schools.
- Food insecure children are often held back due to increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems as they have no energy to maintain healthy social interactions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does hunger impact education?
Hunger has shown a direct impact on a child’s academic performance. Multiple studies reveal that children from low-income families facing food insecurity are likely to suffer in terms of school performance due to insufficient calorie and essential nutrient intake.
How does food insecurity affect education?
Children and teens who suffer from food insecurity are more likely to miss school due to improper health outcomes as a consequence of a lack of access to a nutritionally balanced diet. Furthermore, food insecurity leaves a lasting impact that continues to harm a child’s potential in leading a successful professional life even after passing out of school.
What are the negative effects of food insecurity in education?
Food insecurity is majorly responsible for harming a child’s mental and physical development. Due to the higher risk of development delays, the majority of food-scarce children are faced with obstacles in their academic life. Moreover, children facing food insecurity suffer greatly in acquiring necessary social skills that guarantee a successful and secure future.
The fact that food insecurity and education are greatly interlinked is not hidden. Food insecure households and especially food-scarce children are bound to face a number of obstacles in their lives ranging from education to emotional problems. Innumerable reports have widely reported the impacts of food insecurity on education and how important it is to ensure food security for school-going children in order to enable them to reap maximum educational benefits.
This is where food programs in schools play a crucial role. These food programs are highly responsible for combating child hunger in order to make education easily accessible for all.